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Tetracaine (Topical application route)

Pronunciation:

TE-tra-kane

Brand Names:

  • Cepacol Viractin
  • Pontocaine
  • Supracaine

Dosage Forms:

  • Cream
  • Ointment
  • Gel/Jelly
  • Solution

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Anesthetic, Local

Chemical—

Amino Ester

Uses of This Medicine:

Tetracaine is used in different parts of the body to cause numbness or loss of feeling in some patients before having a medical test or procedure.

Tetracaine belongs to a group of medicines known as topical local anesthetics. It deadens the nerve endings in the skin. This medicine does not cause unconsciousness as general anesthetics do when used for surgery.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of tetracaine in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Older adults—

No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of tetracaine in geriatric patients.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Brain or spinal problems or
  • Eye problems or
  • Heart and blood vessel problems—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Infection at or near the place of application or
  • Large sores, broken skin, or severe injury at the area of application—The chance of side effects may be increased.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is for use on the skin only.

Be careful not to get any of this medicine in your nose, mouth, and especially in your eyes, because it can cause severe eye irritation. If any of the medicine does get into these areas especially the eyes, wash it with water and check with your doctor right away.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check you closely for any problems or unwanted effects that may be caused by this medicine.

Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have a skin rash, burning, stinging, swelling, or irritation of your skin.

Do not use cosmetics or other skin care products on the treated skin areas.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Incidence not known
Blurred vision
chest pain or discomfort
confusion
dizziness
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
fainting
fast or irregular heartbeat
lightheadedness or fainting
no blood pressure or pulse
no breathing
numbness
seizures
shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
shortness of breath
slow or irregular heartbeat
stopping of heart
sweating
trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
unconsciousness
unusual tiredness or weakness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known
Continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
fear or nervousness
hearing loss
restlessness
sleepiness

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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